Happy days and jubilation! I found out some amazing news the other day, and I thought I’d share it with you here… a new Star Control is nearing completion! In fact, there are two new Star Control titles currently in production! I haven’t been this happy since the Frungy championships of 2176!
The Star Control Legacy
So what in the heck am I talking about? Star Control is a series of video games from the 1990s that featured an adventure across a huge swath of the galaxy. The first version of the game was pretty simple. It featured a series of battles between two factions of alien races, the Alliance of Free Stars and the Ur-Quan Hierarchy. You were presented with a star cluster which rotated in 3D (!) and pitted against an enemy force that you had to eliminate from the sector. Along the way you were able to find power-ups in the form of technological artifacts from a long-dead, advanced alien race known as the Precursors. It was fun, but very simplistic.
Then, in 1992, like a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky, came Star Control 2. This was a radical departure from the original, but in a very good way! At the time, quest games were in vogue, and StarCon 2 quickly became one of the best quest games of all time. You begin the game in a far-off solar system, cut off from Earth for decades because of the war. The research colony you live at discovers that the Precursor technology they are studying has a purpose: to build a ship! You’re able to build a simple ship and pilot it back to Earth to find out what’s been going on all this time.
Everything about the game is perfect. I do mean perfect! The story is enthralling, the different alien races you encounter are fascinating, even the music fits the story perfectly. I’ve played the game through dozens of times and every time I do, I’m entertained. It’s like watching your favorite movie!
There was a Star Control 3, but we don’t speak of it. The original creators of the game were not involved in its design or story, and it suffered significantly because of it. Somehow, the disaster that was SC3 did not diminish SC2, and SC2 maintains a cult following to this day!
Needless to say, Star Control has had a huge impact on Zik! So much of what I have planned is inspired by StarCon2! The idea of a solo hero navigating disparate alien races, each race facing its own challenges, an overarching plot bringing the civilizations into contact and conflict, the way their ideologies interact – all of this has had a profound effect on my story.
I have a few direct nods to the game in Zik, as well. One big one: the leader of the Chadee on the Kodiak, James Anchor’s warship, is named Tanaka. The original Tanaka was one of the last of a race of brave warriors called the Shofixti. They had been given sentience shortly before SC1 by the Yehat, and were almost wiped out in a giant suicide attack against the evil Ur-Quan. The Chadee have a somewhat similar origin story, but I haven’t told that tale yet, so I won’t spoil it here.
So if you want to get a feel for where Zik came from, definitely check out Star Control 2! That game is a big piece of the puzzle.
What’s News? Star Control Origins, and a Sequel!
In recent years, the owner of Stardock Games, himself a long time fan of SC2, managed to buy the rights to the series from Atari, who had been sitting on the title for many years. He immediately contacted the original creators of SC1 and 2 and set about creating his own Star Control game based on their story input. Rather than create a sequel, Stardock chose to tell a new story set in the years before Star Control 1, when humanity is first exploring the stars and meeting alien races. A few days ago, they released this video:
How cool is that?! I love it. I love everything I see in that video. Even the music has the same feel to it as Star Control 2! You can tell immediately that this prequel is being developed as a labor of love, an homage to the original cult classic.
But wait! That’s not all!
The decision to create a prequel to SC1 instead of a proper sequel to SC2 confused a lot of people when it was announced. After all, we were all most interested in what happened after SC2, according to the original creators! So what gives? Well, as it turns out, the original creators, who have been quite busy with making Skylander, have had a keen interest in making a proper SC2 sequel themselves, and they recently announced that they’re actually in development! It’s going to be called Ghosts Of The Precursors!
So we’re not only getting one new Star Control game, we’re getting two! It’s almost enough to make me forgive the Mycon for destroying the Syreen homeworld! Almost.
Enough from me. If you enjoy enthralling space quests, you really should check out this series for yourself. Here’s where you can find more info!
- The Pages of Now And Forever – a fan website with a ton of info
- The Ur-Quan Masters – a modern port of Star Control 2 that you can play for free!
- Ultronomicon – a Star Control wiki
- Stardock’s official Star Control site
Have fun! And don’t forget the secret cypher! Huffi-muffi-guffi!